Skip to content

Records Management: Why it matters in 2024

Authored by EncompaaS - Jan 31, 2024


In 2024, as we navigate a landscape brimming with data, the role of automated records management in driving organizational success has never been more pronounced. Businesses face numerous hurdles in achieving compliance and effective data governance. The prevailing discussion of 2023 centered around the transformative impact of AI for modernising records management; however, it became increasingly evident that the true potential of AI could only be harnessed effectively through the establishment of a robust data quality foundation and scalable records management practices.

This article delves into these critical issues, offering insights, strategies, and recommendations designed to enhance your journey toward optimal data and records management. We will examine the current state of records management and identify the obstacles businesses must navigate to govern their data effectively.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • In 2024, effective and scalable records management is critical for organizations, attributing to increased productivity, legal compliance, and informed/evidence-based decision-making strategies.
  • Evolving your electronic records management system to leverage AI, manage in place strategies and automation provides numerous benefits, including enhanced security, simplified access, and improved cost-effectiveness.
  • Common pitfalls such as low user adoption, poor data quality, inconsistent implementation, inadequate integration with existing systems, non-compliance to regulations, and lack of scalability planning can hinder effective records and information management. Understanding and avoiding these pitfalls is critical to a successful records and information management program.
  • Technological advancements like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and cloud-based solutions have marked the future trends in records management, promoting efficiency and flexibility in data governance.
  • Emerging trends in records management pose new challenges that require meticulous planning and foresight to overcome. Enterprises should remain adaptable and well-prepared to meet these challenges head-on.

What is records management?

Records management, in the modern enterprise context, involves the efficient and systematic control of records throughout their lifecycle – from creation or receipt through processing, distribution, organization, storage, and retrieval to their ultimate disposition or archival. In 2024, it is not just about preserving information but ensuring its accessibility, reliability, and security in an increasingly complex digital environment grappling with data breaches and generative AI.

Why is records management important in 2024?

Modern records management is not just about capturing records; it underpins transformative information management approaches yielding information opportunity. Let’s take a look at three core enterprise functions supported by effective and scalable records management practices.

1. Ensuring regulatory compliance and reducing risks

As data protection laws and privacy regulations become more stringent and complex, particularly in industries like healthcare, finance, and government, the ability to manage records accurately, efficiently and at scale becomes crucial. By maintaining organized and up-to-date records, enterprises can readily demonstrate compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, thus significantly reducing the risks of non-compliance, which can include hefty fines, legal disputes, and reputational damage. Furthermore, a well-implemented records management system safeguards against litigation risks by maintaining a clear and traceable records audit trail and data lineage.

2. Preserving sensitive data and protecting against breaches

The preservation of sensitive data is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a cornerstone of modern business integrity and trust.

According to a recent study commissioned by Apple, data breaches in the U.S. saw a 20% increase in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the entirety of 2022. This uptick underscores the escalating risks to sensitive information and the pressing need for effective data management and pre-emptive protection strategies.

A robust records management system serves as the first line of defense, securing sensitive data against unauthorized access and potential breaches. But its role extends far beyond mere information protection and security measures. By ensuring the integrity of your information, a well-implemented system guarantees that your data remains not only accurate but also consistent and reliable over time. This reliability is the key to building trust and credibility with customers and stakeholders, making it an indispensable asset for any business.

3. Improving decision-making processes and operational efficiency

Timely access to accurate records empowers decision-makers with the information they need to make informed choices. This accessibility to relevant data streamlines decision-making processes and bolsters operational efficiency. When employees spend less time searching for information and more time utilizing it, productivity naturally increases.

Moreover, an effective records management process ensures that the most current and relevant data is available, eliminating the confusion and errors arising from outdated or redundant information.

Unlock the potential of your documents with EncompaaS’
Intelligent Document Processing.

The role of an electronic records management system

While the adoption of electronic records management systems is now widespread, offering key advantages such as increased accessibility, improved efficiency, and strengthened security, it’s important to recognize the complexities these systems introduce.

The shift to digital records management brings challenges in data scale and integration, security management, and compliance with evolving regulations. These complexities require a nuanced approach to ensure that the systems are not only efficient but also robust and adaptable to changing business needs and technological advancements.

This understanding sets the stage for a deeper exploration of the hurdles businesses face in effective data governance, as discussed in the following section.

Five common pitfalls in records management (and how to avoid them)

Navigating the realm of records management can be tricky. We’ll guide you through the most common pitfalls and provide practical solutions to ensure your records management system is robust, compliant, and efficient.

1. Poor data quality and management

The implications of poor data quality and management can be far-reaching and detrimental to any business operation. Have you ever wondered how the quality of your data affects everything from strategic decisions to day-to-day operations? According to Gartner, organizations attribute $15 million in losses per year due to poor data quality.

Poor data quality often manifests as incorrect, outdated, or inconsistent information, leading to misguided decision-making and eroding your employees’ and stakeholders’ trust in your data.

In a digital age where data drives decisions, the accuracy and reliability of your information are paramount. Inaccurate data can result in lost opportunities, misguided strategies, and even regulatory non-compliance, which can significantly impact your business’s bottom line and reputation.

How to overcome this pitfall

To circumvent this pitfall, enterprises should implement stringent data quality protocols and regular audits. This includes establishing clear guidelines for data entry, regular cleaning, and data validation to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Investing in advanced technologies such as AI-powered information management software can significantly enhance your data quality management. These technologies can automate routine data checks, identify and rectify errors, and ensure that your data is accurate, relevant, and actionable.

By embracing these practices, your organization can transform its records management from a potential liability into a strategic asset, ensuring that the records you rely on are reliable and decision-ready.

2. Inconsistent implementation across departments

Unlike the issue of poor data quality, inconsistent implementation across departments in an enterprise focuses on the varying approaches to records management. This inconsistency can lead to a lack of uniformity in handling, storing, and retrieving records, creating disjointed information silos.

Such disparities disrupt the seamless integration of information across the organization, complicating tasks that require comprehensive data access and analysis. This fragmentation affects operational efficiency and poses a challenge in maintaining overall data cohesion and regulatory compliance.

How to overcome this pitfall

To tackle this pitfall, it’s essential to develop and enforce a records management strategy across the entire organization. This strategy should cover every aspect of records management, from data entry to archiving and disposal.

Regular training sessions and clear communication of the records management policies can further reinforce consistency. Additionally, appointing a dedicated records manager or departmental records managers to oversee implementing and adhering to these policies across different departments can help maintain a unified approach.

3. Inadequate integration with existing systems

Inadequate integration of records management systems with existing IT infrastructure is a significant pitfall for many enterprises. This issue leads to a disjointed technological ecosystem where records management solutions operate in isolation from other business systems like CRM, ERP, or data analytics tools.

The lack of integration results in inefficiencies, as employees must navigate multiple systems to gather comprehensive information. It also increases the likelihood of data inconsistencies and hinders the seamless flow of information, which is crucial for timely decision-making and business agility.

Additionally, inadequate integration can heighten the risk of data breaches, as disjointed systems often have varied security protocols, leaving gaps in data protection.

How to overcome this pitfall

To prevent this issue, enterprises should prioritize the integration capabilities of their records management solutions from the outset. When choosing a records management system, it’s imperative to prioritize seamless integration, especially in the context of managing records in place or at the source. In today’s landscape, where remote work is increasingly common, the ability to work in systems of choice is crucial. The ideal solution should effortlessly integrate with your existing technological infrastructure, harmonizing on-premises and cloud systems. Look for platforms that provide robust APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or other advanced integration tools, ensuring manage-in-place or manage-at-source capabilities. This empowers users to operate within their preferred systems while maintaining comprehensive visibility across all interconnected platforms.

Moreover, involving IT teams in the early stages of implementation to map out integration points can ensure a smoother integration process. Regularly reviewing and updating these integrations as the records management system and other enterprise systems evolve is critical to maintaining effective integration over time.

4. Non-compliance with industry regulations

Non-compliance typically arises when record-keeping practices do not align with the legal and regulatory standards specific to the industry, such as GDPR for data protection or HIPAA for healthcare information.

These risks are amplified in industries where regulatory scrutiny is intense, and non-compliance can lead to serious legal repercussions, including hefty fines and reputational damage. Furthermore, it undermines the trust of customers and stakeholders, affecting the long-term credibility of the business.

In many cases, non-compliance is not a result of wilful negligence. Still, it stems from a lack of awareness or understanding of the latest regulations or inadequate processes to ensure compliance.

How to overcome this pitfall

Avoiding this pitfall requires a proactive and knowledgeable approach to compliance. Enterprises should thoroughly understand the regulatory requirements relevant to their industry and region. This involves staying updated on any changes in legislation and adjusting record-keeping practices accordingly.

Implementing a records management system designed with compliance in mind can be a game-changer. Such systems should have built-in features that support compliance, such as secure storage, access controls, audit trails, and automated retention and disposal schedules. Regular compliance audits and training sessions for employees on regulatory adherence for employees are also crucial in fostering a culture of compliance within the organization.

Discover how EncompaaS can streamline your compliance journey with
Data Compliance & Privacy Solutions.

5. Failure to plan for scalability and future needs

One significant oversight in records management is the failure to plan for scalability and future needs. Enterprises often implement a system that meets their current requirements but doesn’t account for future growth or technological advancements.

This short-sighted approach can lead to challenges as data volume increases or new types of records emerge. The system may become overwhelmed or obsolete, leading to inefficiencies, increased costs for system upgrades or replacements, and the inability to adapt to new data management trends or regulatory changes. Systems that require staff to manually capture and classify content are at risk of being circumvented simply because the volume of content makes this task too time consuming and onerous. When content is not being captured into the records management system as expected this leads to significant risk.

How to overcome this pitfall

To avoid this pitfall, enterprises must adopt a forward-thinking approach when implementing a records management system. This involves selecting a system that is not only capable of handling current data loads but is also scalable to accommodate future growth.

The system should be flexible enough to integrate new technologies and adapt to changing business needs. In addition, enterprises should regularly review and update their records management strategies to align with evolving industry practices and technological advancements. This proactive approach ensures that the records management system remains efficient, effective, and relevant long-term. Regular engagement with system vendors for updates and understanding emerging data management trends can also help stay ahead of future requirements.

Future trends in records management

As we look toward the future of records management, several emerging trends stand out, each poised to significantly impact how enterprises manage and interact with their data. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the growing importance of cloud-based solutions, and the increasing need for mobile access to records are at the forefront of these developments. Understanding these trends is crucial for any enterprise looking to stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of records management.

1. Integration of AI and ML in Records management

The incorporation of AI and ML into records management systems is revolutionizing data handling processes. These technologies enable sophisticated data analysis, , metadata enrichment, automated classification, indexing, and reporting. Large Language Models increase efficiency and speed to value as they require little training to accurately identify and classify content. While content cognition has the power to effectively convert unstructured content into structured data by extracting target data from documents making it easier to analyse and report on complex documents such as contracts AI driven systems are delivering greater visibility and insights into enterprise information, enabling informed business strategies and decision making.

2. Growing importance of cloud-based solutions

Cloud-based records management solutions are becoming increasingly popular due to their scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. These solutions allow for the centralized management of records that can be accessed and updated from anywhere, fostering collaboration and remote working capabilities. The cloud also provides robust security features and regular updates, ensuring that records management systems are always equipped with the latest security protocols and functionalities.

3. Mobile access to records

As the workforce becomes more mobile and dispersed, the demand for mobile access to records is growing. Mobile-friendly records management solutions enable on-the-go access to data, which is essential for timely decision-making and responsiveness in today’s fast-paced business environment. This trend is leading to the development of responsive and intuitive mobile applications for records management, designed to provide seamless but secure access to data across various devices.

4. Anticipating future challenges and opportunities

Of course, as with any significant shift in practices and technologies, there will be many new challenges to navigate and opportunities to seize in the coming years. As we adopt AI, ML, and Cloud technologies, we must be vigilant about potential data security and privacy risks. We also have to address the learning curves associated with these technologies.

It’s crucial to select software and vendors with extensive experience in AI and records compliance, who understand how to leverage these technologies effectively while minimizing risks. Partnering with knowledgeable providers ensures that the benefits of AI and ML are harnessed safely and efficiently, safeguarding the integrity of our data management systems.

That said, these emerging trends also present a world of opportunity; they have the potential to drive unprecedented progress in records management, ultimately enhancing our ability to harness the data in records as a strategic resource. With careful planning and judicious application, the reward is worth facing these challenges head-on.

As we journey into an increasingly digitized era, it’s clear that the field of records management is on the cusp of substantial evolution driven by technological enhancements. From leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to harnessing the power of cloud computing, how we manage and access records is set to transform dramatically. Anticipating these changes and their challenges is crucial to prepare for what lies ahead in the world of records management.

Enter the next era in records management with EncompaaS

As we delve deeper into 2024, it is clear that records management has become an increasingly crucial aspect of any successful organization. Effective records management is the cornerstone of modern business operations, from ensuring legal compliance to enhancing decision-making processes and maintaining data integrity.

However, we also understand that managing records is not without its challenges. Varying implementation across departments, regularly conducting audits, training staff, keeping up with ever-changing regulations, and choosing the right technology can sometimes seem overwhelming. And that’s where EncompaaS’ Intelligent Information Management can step in.

EncompaaS is designed to navigate the complexities of records management efficiently and effectively, leveraging state-of-the-art technologies, including AI and Machine Learning. Our approach begins with comprehensive discovery and understanding of your data, spanning the cloud, hybrid, and on-premises repositories. Moreover, with its cloud-based solutions, EncompaaS alleviates the worries of software and hardware upgrades, giving you more freedom to focus on your core business objectives. EncompaaS establishes an exceptional data quality foundation, enabling you to manage structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data in place.

With a continuous commitment to monitoring changes in regulations and adapting to emerging trends, EncompaaS offers an unparalleled advantage in your records management needs. If you want to transform and simplify your records management, look no further than EncompaaS.

Know Your Data. Transform The Enterprise

See how EncompaaS transforms enterprises - providing a foundation of unparalleled data quality, data discovery, governance, and analytics.

Book a demo

Let's get started

Experience the Power of EncompaaS!


Submit this form to see EncompaaS in action with a demo from our information management experts.

Request a demo today

* indicates required field

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form, you consent to be contacted by a member of our team by email or phone. You can unsubscribe from our communications at any time via the unsubscribe option in the email received. For more information on how EncompaaS uses your data, please refer to our Privacy Policy.